A Reflection After My First Month In The Mission Area

by Renz Nikolai C. Flores, JVP 43

A month has gone by since I was missioned to Siargao as a volunteer to work at The Sun Crew as Education Support Officer and much has happened since. Yet out of the many things that occurred, I would like to single out one significant experience that stands out from among them – tutoring.

One of the tasks assigned to me is to handle the Numeracy Program of The Sun Crew, our partner institution as volunteers. This is a new program designed to help learners in the grade school having difficulty in Math by means of an after-class tutorial.Though this program is yet to begin this September, I had a glimpse of how it’s like to do tutorials over the past few weeks.

My mission partner, tasked to oversee the academic performance of our scholars, asked me if I could help her out with their tutorials. Willingly, I accepted the invite. It started with me facilitating simple flash card drills in multiplication, until there was a need for a more specific way of teaching our scholars. We realized that, although our scholars are in the seventh grade, some are still struggling with the basics. Because of this, I continued to give my assistance in Math tutorials and to be honest, it’s not an easy task.

Tutoring is a taxing work. There were times when I would be pissed off and frustrated because of the learner’s slow progress. There were times when I had to struggle how to make Math more interesting and relatable to them. Moreover, there were times when I had been challenged to bring down my knowledge to their level of understanding. This was just a glimpse of what is to come for me in the program.

I reached a point where I wondered to myself: Why me? Why kids? I know I am not so good at dealing with them, more so, in teaching them Math which is a very difficult subject to communicate. I felt like I was given something I was not so used to doing. I found myself being asked to move out of my comfort zone, and to tread unknown and shaky paths.

Suddenly, it dawned on me: this was what I was praying for; this was why I was here. I was here to grow and become a better, more loving person. God has been answering this prayer of mine by leading me here, and providing for me these opportunities for maturity. These circumstances were part of that greater picture to which I am in. All these assured me that I am where I should be.

This realization became a lens for me to see things from a different perspective. The assurance it gave me allowed me to see the good that has been happening around me: seeing the kids exert all their effort to learn; hearing them say they understood the concepts better; watching them do the exercises religiously and finally being able to get it right – all these became sources of consolation, inspiration, and hope for me. They assure me that things will turn out well in the end.

The future may still be bleak for me, and a lot may still be in-store, but one thing’s for sure: God has brought me here because I am where I am supposed to be. This is my answered prayer. This is where I will become a more loving servant of God.